For just over a year now, I have been deeply invested in the practice of meditation and it has made some positive impact in my life.
It has given me new perspectives, and turned my life 180-degrees around; mentally, spiritually, physically, and financially. By doing so, the quality of my relationships with my loved ones and my relationship with myself has improved drastically.
Meditation can definitely change your personality as it allows you to take control of your mind, which in turn helps you steer your life in any direction you want. Having complete awareness and control over what happens inside your mind will allow you to become your ideal version of yourself.
I got into meditation when my childhood friend and I reconnected a year ago. He was the one who introduced me to it, claiming that I should give it a shot. It initially caught me off guard because we had just finished working out in the gym and were on our way to check out a tattoo place in the area when he suddenly sat me down for a chat. He said that what he had just discovered was so wonderful that it would be an act of selfishness if he did not share it with me.
He told me that he had gone to a meditation center where he had met his guru. They hold meditation training sessions every weekend for 2 months at the center and it had changed him. He mentioned that he was given a mantra that he was forbidden to share with anyone but told me that it was not necessary as you can just focus on your breathing or create your own mantra.
As soon as I got home, I immediately jumped into it. I was excited! I settled myself on the couch, set my alarm for 20 minutes, closed my eyes, and just did nothing. It was amazing.
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The effect of meditation in one’s brain is astounding. With meditation, you will be able to see how powerful your mind can really be and how greatly it could affect your entire life.
The first 5 minutes, maybe even 10, can be very difficult for someone who has only just begun practicing meditation. The reason for this is all of the unnecessary chatter that will come flooding into your mind. This is what the Buddhists call the Monkey Mind or the unsettled, restless, or confused state of your mind. As described by writer and Buddhist, Natalie Goldberg, the Monkey Mind is the inner critic, which constantly reminds you of your fears, insecurities, that leads you to become restless. Unfortunately, this is the default state of mind for the majority of people. This is completely normal. Your mind will naturally let go of this state of mind and with sufficient practice, it would become easier for one to turn off the Monkey Mind.
What comes afterward is nothingness. You will see what happens when you get left alone in your mind for a decent amount of time, which is exactly what happens when you are wide awake but have your eyes closed for 20 minutes, you get to confront your self, thoughts, and emotions. This part of the meditation is my favorite because it allows me to cultivate the skill of weathering the storm that is within me.
Meditation is a form of mindfulness. Mindfulness is the practice of being present. Scientists Dr. Germer, Dr. Siegel, and Dr. Fulton described it as a way of relating to all experiences — positive, negative, neutral — such that our overall suffering diminishes and our sense of well-being increases. It is being aware of everything in the past, present, and future and coming to terms with it.
This is the state of your mind which I call ‘deep thought’. This is the place where I get to reflect and reassess myself constructively, to actively come up with concrete and creative plans for my goals, and to confront the emotions that I feel or suppress..
Over 11 months of practicing the act of meditating, I have been able to assess each of my relationships and identify problems and areas I could work on, to approach them with well-thought-of plans, which then has further strengthened my bond with my family.
To compare this to before wherein I tended to solve these problems by running away from them or setting them aside, hoping that they would eventually go away. For instance, as I was growing up, my dad and I always had a relationship built around pride and insensitivity. While meditating, I reflected on this and reminded myself of basic concepts of life such as time. I have come to realize that our indifferences and pride not only do not make sense but also unnecessary. My actions then followed as I became warmer to him, which eventually affected how he treated me as well.
The human brain is considered to be one of the most complex systems in this world. Every network within it is intricately interconnected and anything that happens to one part has a correlated effect somewhere else. By meditating frequently, we can directly aid our brains in developing certain skill sets by sharpening the networks that are in charge of awareness and focus. This will lead to increased performance in our cognitive abilities.
In a study conducted by Dr. Hasenkamp and Dr. Barsalou in Emory University, Atlanta, USA, the results showed that there was indeed a definite development of cognitive skills, such as maintaining attention and disengaging from interaction, amongst a study group composed of experienced meditators as compared to a study group composed of people who did not partake in meditational practices. The amount of time an individual spends practicing meditation is associated with activity and connectivity changes in the brain, particularly in attentional regions.
Meditation has helped me become more in tune with the things that I want to achieve in my life.
By constantly reminding myself of the vision I have for my future while meditating, my entire behavior and perspectives follow along with it. Now, almost everything I do has a purpose in contributing to my overall mission. This is what Napoleon Hill called Auto-Suggestion in meditation. The constant envisioning of the completion and success of your goals as well as the person who you want to become while doing so, will serve somewhat as a guide in your day-to-day goal planning.
As of late, I’ve been consistent with my meditation routine. However, I do sometimes fall off the bandwagon and break the habit of meditating because honestly…. sometimes “life happens”. But, the wonders it has brought me by simply being in the “here and now ” and as a result being able to just “letting the f*ck go of BS” is more than enough reason for me to continue practicing & advocating it. I truly believe that with meditation, if done properly (and consistently), will turn us all into beings that will vibrate at a much higher frequency and be able to experience the richness that life has to offer you.